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Buying Tips

10 Steps You Must Take Before You Sell Your Home


Essential Home Selling Preparations

The home selling process differs from state to state, but there are some important steps that you should take before you put your house on the market--all steps that protect your interests and help you get the most return from your investment.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

Do not sell your home before you know you are qualified to buy another. Financial circumstances may have changed since your last purchase. So, before you decide to sell the house, get pre-approved by a lender you trust and research the housing market in the area where you wish to live so that you have a good idea how much it will take to buy a replacement.

2. Check Your Mortgage Payoff

Call your lender to check the payoff for your current home mortgage. You'll need the figure to complete Step 6.

3. Determine How Much the House Is Worth

  • Determine your home's fair market value. Real estate agents will usually help you determine value as a courtesy, but you might take it a step further and order an appraisal.

4. Estimate Your Costs to Sell

  • Real estate commission.
  • Attorney, closing agent and other professional fees.
  • Real estate agents deal with transactions every day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs.

5. Determine Your Costs to Acquire a New Home

  • Total your costs to acquire a new home: moving expenses, loan costs, downpayment, home inspections, title work and policy, paying for a new insurance policy--all expenses related to buying a home. Your lender should give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply for pre-approval.

6. Calculate Your Estimated Proceeds

  1. Deduct your mortgage payoff from your home's fair market value.
  2. Deduct your costs to sell from the remainder to get an estimate of the proceeds you will be paid at closing.

Will your closing proceeds cover your costs to acquire a new home? If not, do you have cash or other funding to make up the difference?

7. Make Necessary Repairs

Make all needed repairs unless you want the house to be regarded as a fixer-upper. I'm not referring to cosmetic updates, but to items in need of repair. Anything that's obviously broken gives potential buyers a reason to submit a lower offer.

8. Get the House Ready to Show

Most houses need at least a little spiffing up before they are shown to potential buyers. Great curb appeal, fresh paint indoors (and sometimes out), organized closets and cabinets, sparkling clean windows and appliances, and a clutter-free atmosphere are essential if you want the house to appeal to buyers.

9. Get Psyched Up to Let People In

Unless there's a real reason for it, don't ask your agent to be present for all showings. That's the kiss of death for showing activity. Other agents want privacy with their buyers and they don't usually have time to work around your agent's schedule.

Make the house accessible. That means it's always ready to show. Many agents won't bother showing a house that takes 24 hours to get into.

10. If you're ready to sell, Call Coastal Realty.

Contact One of Our Qualified Realtors

Copyright 2014 Coastal Holdings Ltd.